The Healing Sole is a flip-flop designed to promote and assist natural recovery of the foot from a hard day's work. This is particularly important if you have had an ankle or subtalar fusion. Fusions (arthrodesis) procedures
connect two bones together that originally had a joint between them. This means that there is no motion where there should be motion.
With an ankle fusion, a large amount of stress is placed on the remaining joints of the foot and these degenerate much more quickly; this often can lead to more surgery and pain. The same is true of a subtalar fusion. In addition, the way you walk is completely different because the ankle or subtalar (below the ankle) joint can't move. This gait abnormality increases fatigue and causes problems with the knees and hips and even the lower back.
Reduces Stress on the Joints of the Foot
The Healing Sole reduces stress on the joints of the foot, allows a more normal gait and stretches the plantar fascia after a fusion surgery. The rocker bottom sole of THS allows for a more normal gait. Because the ability to flex and extend the ankle is reduced about 16 degrees after a fusion, you often have to walk with the foot rotated outward, or even lift the hip during walking.
The rocker bottom sole of THS allows heel strike to progress through foot-flat and then toe-off or push-off more naturally. In fact, a case-control study recently proved tha a rocker bottom sole does cause a significant increase in motion during walking toward normal. Although the foot and ankle can never be made normal after a fusion, THS can help motion and walking a great deal.
Provides Structural Support
In addition, THS provides enough structural support to protect the bones and joints of the foot from all the stress placed upon them after a fusion surgery. The structural concept and engineering, combined with a slightly pliable material and the rocker sole allows THS to provide rest and stress-reduction to the overall foot.
Energy expenditure after a fusion is high; there is a 7-10% increase in energy use during walking after an ankle fusion
. This means that you can do less in a day than you could before. However, if you use THS to allow rest and recovery of the foot, this can reduce some of that fatigue. You may notice a generalized aching of the foot and ankle after a fusion; this is due to the increased work required of all the muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments to account for the lack of motion at the ankle or subtalar joint. THS is designed to reduce the stress across the foot and can assist in this function.
Although the ankle fusion and subtalar fusions are common and accepted treatments for arthritis in the foot and ankle, they cause a lot of problems in the rest of the foot. In addition, they increase fatigue due to increased use of energy during movement. FInally, a fusion surgery in the hindfoot will unduly increase stress in the rest of the foot and allow for early arthritis, pain and joint breakdown. THS can act to protect the foot from these consequences of a fusion.